Diabetes type 2 accounts for 90 per cent of all diabetes cases in the UK.
Obesity – a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes – has more than tripled in the UK over the last 30 years, latest statistics have revealed.
Symptoms of diabetes include feeling very thirsty, weight loss, fatigue, and urinating more often than normal.
Here are five ways to lower your risk of developing the condition, which is “storming the UK”, according to nutritionist Cassandra Burns.
Diabetes symptoms: Lower your risk of type 2 by exercising and stopping smoking
Lower your risk of diabetes type 2 by exercising and stopping sugar cravings
Cutting back on your sugar intake will lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, said Burns.
It also includes reducing the amount of refined carbohydrates you eat, including white breads, pastries and pizza.
Burns said: “Focus instead on eating whole, unprocessed foods: plenty of vegetables, healthy proteins such as eggs, fish and lean meat, whole grains, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils and natural dairy foods such as hard cheeses and natural yoghurt.”
Cut down on fruit to just two servings a day, and get your remaining five-a-day from vegetables, she added.
Diabetes symptoms: Cut back on sugar to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
Diabetes symptoms: Exercising could improve the body’s response to insulin
You can ease sugar cravings by adding some natural supplements to your diet, said Burns.
Some food supplements work by supporting blood glucose regulation. Look out for capsules contains chromium and green coffee extract, that helps to balance insulin levels.
“Sugar is quickly broken down into glucose in our blood – the type of sugar that converts directly to energy. But because high levels of glucose in our blood are harmful to the body, it releases insulin, which then quickly removes the glucose and stores it as glycogen or fat.
As well as causing us to put on weight, this surge in insulin often makes our blood sugar level drop too low, causing cravings for yet another boost of sugar – and so the cycle continues.”
“Staying active is also vital,” said Burns.
“Exercise helps the body respond to insulin, keep blood sugar levels down and manage your weight.
“You can get the greatest benefits by including both aerobic exercise such as cycling, dancing or jogging and strength training with weights or bodyweight exercises.”
Workout out with a friend or partner could help to keep you motivated, she recommended.
Diabetes symptoms: Taking some supplements could stop sugar cravings – key to lowering diabetes risk
Diabetes symptoms: Cutting out smoking will lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
Smoking could increase your risk of developing diabetes, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
It also increases the risk of diabetic complications, including heart disease, strokes and circulation problems.
“Smoking is proven to be a risk factor for insulin resistance,” said the medical website.
“Patients who are insulin resistant cannot use their bodily insulin properly. Insulin resistance often leads to diabetes.”
Alcohol can lower the body’s sensitivity to insulin, potentially leading to type 2 diabetes, said DrinkAware.
Alcohol also contains a large amount of calories, which could contribute to weight gain, and subsequently diabetes.